Tiny Dancers – Lions and Tigers and Lions
Despite being hampered with the name of an Elton John song, and putting the weakest song first, Tiny Dancers have produced a twee gem. Opener ‘20 to 9’ is indiepop by numbers, but by ‘Hemsworth Hallway’, they’ve evidently decided that jingle is the new jangle, and have upped the numbers of glockenspiels and bells accordingly.
The Rumble Streets – Cardboard Coloured Dreams
This beautifully soulful debut EP from this Devon four piece has overtones not only of the Zutons, but of more diverse 60s influences. There’s a fairground waltz – ‘Running Away’ – but the self-proclaimed “white boy funk’ of” ‘High Street Heaven’ must be one of the least funky tracks ever to have adorned a B-side.
Sixnationstate – Fire!
Feral howls open this off-kilter punk rock sea shanty. Much like what would result if Shane McGowan woke up one afternoon in the Coral’s collective bed and vomited up a baby, this single is battered and belligerent but probably just wants to be friends. Be warned: if it hasn’t got its land legs back, it could well puke on your shoulder.
Art Brut – Nag Nag Nag Nag
They’re all grown up now – but they appear to have left something behind in their adolescence. There are still memorable couplets (“A record collection reduced to a mixtape/Headphones on, I made my escape”), but Art Brut seem a little less arresting than they used to. Perhaps it’s the ageing process, or perhaps it’s the effect of ideas being reused.
All Saints – Rock Steady
A bastardised reggae intro lures you in, then dumps you unsuspectingly in the midst of an anodine R ‘n’ B song which shows that All Saints are very little different now than when they split up, except that today they’re on Myspace. One measure of their success may be that they only have 57 friends – whereas Lily Allen has nearly 900,000.
Radar – Fifth Columnist
Coming on like an alliance of Kasabian, Madness and the Specials, it’s the second single this week to put a twenty first century spin on Jamaican sounds. Self proclaimed ‘digital ska’ band Radar’s single is easily the more successful and more authentic of the two – Radar’s producer worked with Lee Scratch Perry amongst others.
Singles this week were reviewed by Kathryn Bromwich, Shan Vahidy and Robin Seaton